“call 4D if you’ve been a victim of credit card fraud in Petworth recently”

Photo by PoPville flickr user katecon

“Dear PoPville,

We wanted to follow up on a recent post on your site and hope you can maybe even post again to let others know to call 4D if they’ve been a victim of credit card fraud in Petworth recently.

My fiancee and I had dinner and drinks on Sept. 18th at three restaurants in Petworth (a drink at one, dinner at another, and an after dinner drink and dessert at the third). He paid for all three transactions with his credit card, which he doesn’t use often.

There was a fraudulent charge on his credit card from BestBuy.com a couple days later. When he called the credit card company, they directed him to call Best Buy directly. When he called, Best Buy told him the item purchased was a Madden game and it was shipped to an address in D.C.

He asked me if he should call the cops and I was originally going to say no – what are they going to do, especially if the credit card company waived the charge (and made him call Best Buy himself?!)?

But then I did some googling and found this post. Same day that we ate out in Petworth, which piqued my interest. I started reading the comments and came to this one:

Is it a store near Upshur & Georgia? We recently had 3 separate instances of fraud within 6 weeks, which we think was occurring after we visited a store near that location. We stopped going there and have had no further issues. Could be a coincidence, but now we use cash if we visit this store.

Two of the three restaurants we visited on the 18th were on Upshur. (The other restaurant was within walking distance of Upshur.)

He did call the cops and a cop just left our house. Took my fiancee’s info, the names of the restaurants, and the address the game was shipped to. We also checked if there were any other fraud charges – none so far. We confirmed the card is now cancelled. I shared the PoP post and comment with the cop – and the cop agreed it seemed like a big coincidence.

He reported the info to the Financial Division and gave us a case number. They are going to see if there are any other ongoing cases in 4D and if they can find any connections.

If you have any other readers who have experienced fraud charges after visiting Petworth restaurants, they may want to look into this and call 4D.

14 Comment

  • What were the restaurants? What IS it with people???

  • Just an aside:
    I really dislike that when we pay with a card (credit, debit), the server takes the card away from my possession/sight. I wish we had a system like in Canada where the server brings over the card reader.

    • Yet another reason we have to go to chip and pin. In Europe, it’s the same. Servers bring the machine and even people collecting money for charities on the streets carry handheld credit card readers. It’s possible now with tools like square but it means restaurants have to switch out their equipment, cancel contracts, etc.

    • It’s completely asinine. We’re told to protect our credit card numbers, but then have to hand it to a complete stranger who walks away with it every time we go out to dinner.

  • Anonynon

    It seems like people like purchasing stuff from best buy with stolen information. My credit card was compromised and someone spend $400 at best buy in wheaton using my info. I live in the area petworth cohi area…not sure where I went that caused this to happen.

    • I would hope Best Buy would be more vigilant when checking credit cards, maybe require ID’s for large purchases or for gift cards?

      • Have tou ever been to the cohi Best Buy? The quality of staff at that location makes it not at all surprising that Best Buy is collapsing.

  • If you want to help people protect themselves, you should reveal the names of the restaurants. There was another post a few weeks ago where a reader said he suspected his credit card number was taken from a store near his home, but he did not want to reveal the name of the store because apparently he was weary about causing them to lose business. How are we supposed to protect ourselves if we don’t know where this happened? Do you suggest we avoid all of Upshur Street? All of Petworth? Or just call the police after our money has been stolen? It is useless for me to read posts like this without the one piece of relevant information I need to avoid the same result.

    • I agree. I think people are smart enough to know that this sort of thing is a result of one person at whatever restaurant or shop etc., not the entire establishment. So identifying the establishment is not going to start a boycott, just make the owners aware of the problem so they can help solve it. But seriously, having a address for receipt of stolen goods seems like a slam-dunk if anyone cared to investigate it.

      • Why would PoP risk getting sued for libel by publishing the names? Seems extremely silly to me. To your point about the readers knowing that the establishments themselves aren’t at fault – what does it matter if people stop patronizing these spots? Because that will inevitably happen. Then PoP gets sued for libel.

    • Other than not using credit cards at all, there is nothing you can do that will completely protect you from credit card fraud. And even if you don’t use credit cards, that won’t stop someone from opening a credit card in your name using your credit info.
      The last time my card info was stolen, I went online and created alerts for all of my cards. If there is a charge over $0.01, I get a text message immediately. For what it is worth, the first fraudulent charge popped up the day I used my card at a dry cleaner in Petworth and at the Safeway. But I never had a problem at either establishment before this incident. And have used my credit card at both places since then without incident (knock on wood). So who knows how the info got taken.

  • Who is “4D” and how do you call him/her/them?

  • Good luck calling 4d. I tried calling on more than one occasion over the course of June-August. No one ever picked up and the VM was always full. I wrote Todd’s office and was told that I should call 911 when trying to contact the police. I explained that I had a question that didn’t warrant the resources of 911, it was just a question.
    But yah, 2nd email response reiterated to call 911 and that Todd’s office would “look into (why the VM for 4d is always full) it.”

    • Not that you should have to do this, but if you want to contact 4D on non emergency issues, your best bet is to get on the 4D yahoo listserve and get email addresses of officers from messages they post there. Email them directly.

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